New report on digital credentials of academic achievements

News - 10 February 2020 - Communication

Technology has the potential to profoundly change higher education. However, the way that academic credentials are issued and managed has not yet taken advantage of the possibilities of digital technology, according to a new report authored by the Digital Credentials Consortium. The consortium is working on the design of verifiable digital academic credentials.

The Digital Credentials Consortium is a group of 12 international universities, including TU Delft, who are jointly working on a trusted, distributed, and shared infrastructure that can become the standard for issuing, storing, displaying, and verifying digital academic credentials. “What would an academic degree look like if it was designed today? Or a professional certificate? Or a certificate for an online course? As the question of trusted verification and authentication of learning and credentials poses itself with increased urgency we need to redesign the way we issue, recognize and transact with academic credentials”, say the authors of the report. 

In the report, they outline a number of standards, including: 

  • More flexible ways to express the identities of issuers and learners that tie into existing university services.
  • Stronger privacy-by-design and privacy-by-default with attention to regional legal frameworks.
  • More reliable revocation mechanisms and credential lifecycle management.
  • Higher level of consistency between the machine-readable data of the credential, the human-readable visual representation, and the necessary output formats—paper or digital.  

While the Digital Credentials Consortium is primarily concerned with the use of verified digital academic credentials in higher education, their work also reflects a broader effort to bridge post-secondary and lifelong learning, connecting traditional institutions of higher education, non-formal education providers, as well as the workplace, through interoperable standards.

More information, as well as the full report, are to be found on

Read the earlier news item.